I Know I'm Not Alone
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In 2004 Michael Franti decided to walk his talk and traveled to the war zones of Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This wasnt a USO green zone sponsored visit Franti and his team organized a trip that would take him to the core of the red-zoned, war torn neighborhoods of Baghdad, the West Bank and Gaza Strip armed with only a guitar, video cameras and the intent to experience first hand the human cost of war. Throughout his journey he shares his music with families, doctors, musicians, soldiers and everyday people who in turn reveal to him the often overlooked human cost of war. Out of this expedition, Franti has produced and directed a compelling documentary film titled I Know Im Not Alone. With its guerrilla style footage captured in active war zones, the documentary is unlike the many academic and politically driven pieces in the marketplace, instead offering the audience a sense of intimate travel and the opportunity to hear the voices of everyday people living, creating and surviving under the harsh conditions of war and occupation.
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Top customer reviews
The film leaves you with a much greater appreciation of the human side of this conflict and a feeling of optimism that peace might be possible if people were able to stop demonizing each other, to initiate dialogue, and - a big if - to make their voices heard over the politicians.
Franti also includes a brief overview of the history of the conflict with an animated map at the beginning of the film.
I'm ordering numerous copies of this for friends and the school where I work. It's great for discussions and shows things that the U.S. media never shows.
I personally think it's an amazing film.
What "Bobby McGee", the Arab reviewer, said is correct: Franti doesn't dive all that deep into the culture of the region. However, I find that true for many of the other documentaries I've seen revolving around strife. For instance, "God Grew Tired of Us" (about the Sudanese lost children), "Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars" (about refugees from SL's genocide who formed a reggae band), and "Heavy Metal in Baghdad" (about the only Iraqi metal band, also featured in Franti's movie) all feature western filmmakers trying to make sense of horrible situations.
While I do find that Franti can be a bit earnest with his whole "Can't we all just get along?" mentality, he absolutely means well. He's not looking to change things right then and there, just understand why things are the way they are and then convey it to the rest of us sitting at home.
Franti gets full respect from me. It takes commitment to do what so many refuse to do: put their feet on the ground in Iraq, Israel, and the West Bank, and see for themselves what's going on. I mean, how many anti-Iraq War songs have been written? Tons. How many musicians have willing gone to the country itself and taken in first-hand experience? Not so many.
All the talking heads and government reps talk about the cost of war but they talk in dollars and cents. Michael wanted to know what about the HUMAN cost of war. He took a small film crew, his guitar and a few friends and went to find out. He went to Baghdad, the Gaza Strip, and Israel to talk with the people. The result is "I Know I'm Not Alone". Michael proves that everywhere you go, human nature is curious and friendly and willing to reach out and tell you their stories, trusting that you will understand and accept them as they are. He teaches that with a single word you can build a song that reaches to the hearts of everyone. Lines on faces deepen when a person smiles and you can see in their eyes when it touches their hearts. "I Know I'm Not Alone" is one of my most prized dvds. It touches me every time I view it. I have recommended it to many of my friends and I'm recommending it to you. Michael, you are right. You are NOT alone!
Most recent customer reviews
1) I am arab
2) I am left of the centre- So I assume we're all on the same wave length...Read more